Homeward Bound


Well, I’m on the plane flying home from a wonderful few days In Las Vegas. I attended Skip’s Summer School there at the Mirage. It was quite the experience. I’ve been to 1 or 2 hours-long workshops before, but never one this long. 3 1/2 days of photographic learning! It was a ton of fun, but now I’m ready to get home and make some pictures!


The workshop covered everything from posing to lighting to skill improvement to business considerations. Such names as Tamara Lackey, Kevin Kubota, and Jerry Ghionis provided a metric TONNE of useful information. I learned SO MUCH about lighting and posing, an quite a bit on the business side. Roberto Valenzuela’s advice to not only practice but to practice the right things hit right home with me. I can use anything as a model–even bananas on a light stand! The things I do while programming will work equally well with photography. Experimentation is the key: just start trying stuff and see what works, That’s how I got so good on computers; the same mindset applies equally well to photography.


Going forward with Matt Vanecek Portraiture, I resolve to shoot somebody every week. Maybe my wife, maybe a paying client. I will not feel weird using a banana or a Teddy Bear as a model for practice! I will get my Web site updated an create a consistent look across all of my business presence. I may not be leaving my day job anytime soon, but I can certainly arrange my business to flow smoothly. That way I can concentrate on making beautiful images!

My goal is to be more than a part-time photographer. My goal is to be a top name in photographing women. Editorial, portraits, and boudoir. I want to provide a glimpse of the heart and soul; to gently nudge aside the outer layers and see the steel that lies beneath. I love my steaks and football, but nothing fascinates, inspires, and moves me like the female of the species.

I’ll be touching down in a while. When I do, I can spread my notes out around me and get everything organized. I can remember the lessons in using speedlights from Kevin Kubota, and study the flow of posing taught by Doug Gordon in his energetic enthusiasm. I can communicate with my subject like Bambi Cantrell showed, and make my subject comfortable and confident. When I touch down, I can start working on changing the world with my photography.

For now, 33,000 feet above New Mexico, I will meditate and prepare.



Vegas Baby!

So, today I’m flying to Las Vegas, Nevada to attend Skip’s Summer School at the Mirage hotel. This promises to be a fun and educational time learning about photographic lighting, composition, and hopefully workflow. I’ll get to meet in person some of the photographers whose works have helped me reach the level I’m at. After this week, I expect to be able to take my work up a notch and be more productive.


The airline I’m flying is American Airlines. I think I still like them, even with the baggage fees. Which, thanks to smart and compact packing, I did not have to pay. I got everything in my carry-ons. 🙂

Let me just sat, electronic check-in is da BOMB! 24 hours ahead of the flight, I was able to check in via the Web. I know, this is probably old-hat for all you frequent travelers. But this is the first time I’ve been inside an airport in over 10 years.

Also, the mobile boarding pass: IT ROCKS! Just pull up that little QR code on your phone and they scan it at all the checkpoints! No irritating pieces if paper to keep track of, nothing to lose! You can save the QR code as an image on your phone, too. So if there’s no reception, you’re all set!


So far things are going pretty well. The guy next to me is pretty skinny, which makes up for my current girth. The flight took off right on time, so I’ll be in Vegas when expected. The flight is jam-packed full-literally not an empty seat on the plane.

The week is starting off on a pretty high note. I’m sure it will get better from here!